Tag Archives: mayor

Blog ENDED.

First off, if you like comics, hovering over each of the links in the blogroll is good fun.

But the best way to read this site is to use the tabs at the top to read campaign promises and faq’s and then check out campaign videos before using the archive list to the right to go to the actual blog entries, of which there were many during the campaign.

Use the archive list to start with the first blog entries in December 2010 and then follow the campaign through chronologically to the last entries in December 2011.

From Twitter Giveaway to Treasure Island Boondoggle to the 100th running of the Bay  to Breakers and the fiasco that allowed Ed Lee to run, it flows better chronologically.

Karthik

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Ed Lee is No More the Mayor than Emperor Norton Was

Evidence of the claims I have been making that the Bay-Guardian, The Chron and The Bay Citizen are not only out of touch, but the worst sort of insider-journalists can be found in their ratification of the results of this year’s election over the reality: only a handful of people decided the political fate of the City.

By contrast, in the blogosphere, SF Appeal, The League of Pissed off Voters (via tweet), and SFist all noted the pathetic voter turnout in the election within minutes of polls closing, which is the story of the election of 2011 – a handful of very wealthy people decided this.

Chris Roberts at SFAppeal notes: “In other words, 112,275 voters — or less than 25 percent of the electorate — decided who became mayor of San Francisco. And of them, 68,721 — or about 14 percent of the electorate, and about eight percent of the citizenry — actually voted for Mayor Ed Lee.”

The absence of coverage of this single most important issue of the election by The Chronicle, The SF Bay Guardian and the newly minted Bay Citizen until now, suddenly this week – when they use it to attack Ranked Choice or Instant Runoff Voting – are exactly what I have been talking about this year.

The reporters and editors of these papers are participating in a cliquish civic theater instead of reporting on the needs, thoughts and desires of residents of our City.

They are engaged in stroking a few candidates and ridiculing anyone who thinks outside the box. They lack courage, conviction and objectivity and cover elections so they can be near the winners and get invited to the party.

The Chron and Bay Citizen and SFBG not only avoided discussing the absurdly low numbers of voters who decided matters until this week, they chose to make their election coverage about defining these very few voters as an aggregate image of the “voters of San Francisco” and to attribute this ridiculously small number of citizens in our town with the general opinion of San Franciscans.

In the Bay Guardian, the political novice Steven T. Jones spent a long column discussing the makeup of “SF voters” – with no mention of the fact that they were not even a third of those eligible to vote! He dares to title the piece San Francisco’s Political Spectrum: a primer – What balls!

The Bay Citizen, however, is the worst and with the furthest reach. The Bay Citizen made an arrangement whereby select pieces appear in print in the New York Times’ Bay Area editions.

So readers of the NYT here in the Bay are informed by a blog started less than a year ago with $5million from the Hellmans (hover over the link to the bay citizen at right).

And the Hellman family’s editors chose to publish a piece by two of their writers that claim that this election “Signals Shift to the Right” in San Francisco! With no mention of the lowest turnout ever!

Again, what balls! Is this so New Yorkers living here can feel that Manhattanization is happening on schedule?! Is that what this is about? Argh. You are killing our City!

These aren’t journalists, they’re mediators.

This was a horrible election because wealthy vested interests manipulated millions of dollars to ensure a handful of viable choices would appear to wrestle for power, while Ed Lee was basically ratified in a confirmation election.

The Chron and The Bay Citizen and The SF Bay Guardian show their true colors even as the Occupy Movement tells the real story of the disenfranchised.

Blame the media – do it. We’d never have such pathetic candidates if instead of gravy-training reporters at the Chron, SFBG and Bay Citizen, we had real reporters and caring journalists.

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Twitter Giveaway’s First Big Blow: POOF! Goes the Zynga IPO

Zynga, Incorporated, one of the two large tech companies (with Twitter) who railroaded Mayor Ed Lee and the SF Board of Supervisors to pass the Twitter Giveaway, will be making its Initial Public Offering in the next two weeks.

Zynga’s IPO price is settling in at about $9 billion and the company hopes to raise as much as $925 million.

If the tax-break given to Twitter extends to Zynga, it nullifies the long-standing SF law that would have given 1.5% of the sale to the City.

We will be losing nearly $14 million. That’s nothing to Zynga. They could negotiate it into the offer.

14 million dollars. <poof> just like that …. because of the political aspirations of Lee and Chiu…

Thanks Mayor Lee, and Supervisors Chiu, Farrell, Kim, Weine, Elsbernd, Cohen and Mar. You’re morons on this one.

That’s our new Mayor and Board President at work in the new SF.

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Lee Wins, Avalos Gets SFBG Clip-n-Voters and We Lose (Again)

Hardly anyone has voted.

That remains the story. Can a city official even be considered elected if a minority of the voting age population participates in the election? How is this democracy? We should pass a mandatory voting law for the City.

We must also protect Instant Runoff Voting, which did in fact force greater coalition building and less rancor amongst candidates. It did.

The need to be chosen as someone’s Number Two or Three kept these candidates honest and the results reflect it. Ed Lee’s silent treatment worked beautifully, and everybody who didn’t have a second or third choice in mind selected the Interim Mayor by default.

What a way to back into the job. Sound familiar? It’s what they accused Jean Quan of in Oakland. But guess what? it isn’t RCV, it’s voter turnout that’s the problem.

I am most disappointed in Melissa Griffin and her unfounded assault on Instant Runoff Voting or Ranked Choice Voting. This new system is good for democracy and proves useful at the aforementioned coalition-building and in encouraging more candidates (like myself, Joanna Rees, Green Terry Baum and many others) to participate. Ed Lee supporters should vociferously defend Instant Runoff, or Ranked Choice Voting.

Here’s a repost of my IRV PSA from several months back.

That said, everything has happened exactly as I expected since the Ethics Commission agreed Ed Lee could run – the main reason I dropped out.

This was a statistical inevitability. It’s a confirmation election – made from negotiations between Gavin Newsom’s crowd, Willie Brown’s and Rose Pak’s – to ensure that Ed Lee, the beloved Chief Administrator and Interim Mayor has no blemish on his record on the road to being the first Asian-American Mayor of San Francisco.

I am very happy for both the Chinese-American community and the Asian-American community at large, for the “breakthrough” that will be attributed here. But, the decision-making was done far away from most regular people, again, by power brokers who know we won’t bother to turnout, to look things up, to seek better representation.

I hope that instead of being threatened by what I am saying, Ed Lee supporters and the Mayor himself understand that my issue is with the Ethics Commission’s decision to allow Mr. Lee to run, not with him as a Mayor. He was a competent Chief Administrator and will be capable.

My issues on policy with Ed Lee are opposition to his Twitter Giveaway, the Treasure Island Boondoggle, the Park Merced “housing scheme that divides,” and his absurd idea for five-year budgets – given the huge number of interests to which he seems beholden. He lacks a progressiveness that I associate with our city. You can read specifics throughout this blog. I would have had him be allowed to run in 2015, against a real coalition-built Mayor.

I wish I could have been more active in this year’s election, but expected everything we are seeing today, months ago.

The promising numbers for John Avalos are a pleasant surprise from the standpoint of measuring the election against the power of the media to motivate. He was a non-entity before it began, Chris Daly stayed out of the way, and his absence helped Tim Redmond make Avalos run.

So Redmond pushed with his staid, old method and the numbers today are bigger. Pointless, but bigger. Redmond created the candidate and got him votes. Then had the SFBG report on the pretense of a Progressive Movement. Wow.

John Avalos’ numbers are largely due to the clip-and-vote effect observed for decades now, a method by which the Bay Guardian has become a shepherd for apathetic progressives-in-name, many very recent transplants here, who can’t be bothered to look into it, haven’t better resources or a competitive view of scale. These voters consider matters only in the last week of the cycle and do as Tim Redmond and the Bay Guardian tell them to do on election day by ripping out the page and following through.

This has been sustained because of a lack of competition for the Bay Guardian. But I restate my problem with Tim Redmond in this election: he wakes up everyday with all that power, and in recent years has seriously decayed in terms of courage or creativity. More often than not, he whines, laments and defines progressive space with his opinion of what is progressive. There is little or no collectivity and Redmond takes the centrist road nowadays leaving him as cliquish as the mainstream candidates.

That‘s the problem: the cliques at the Chron, SFBG and City Hall are the problem. That, and money … oh and the fact that nobody even cares to vote … (sigh)

The system needs a severe overhaul and I’d like to be a candidate again, but only if called upon. It isn’t real democracy – these aren’t real elections. It’s a sad decaying of SF political history.

The rulers are really stooges for the 1%, and the 1% themselves. They are out of touch and callous as so many of us suffer this terrible economy. They lack creative solutions, fear socialist ones and govern to protect themselves, their property and their right to party hard in our beautiful city.

Please stay in touch with comments. Hoping for a Sheriff Mirkarimi, I will be writing up an analysis of this election after the fact and posting it here. Thanks for your support and kind words.

Karthik

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A Fake Election to Confirm Ed Lee as First Elected Chinese Mayor

Recent traffic to this site as the election cycle comes to a close inspires me to write a brief entry for new visitors to this campaign.

I ran for Mayor from November 18, 2010 until July 3rd, 2011, when it became clear that Interim Mayor Ed Lee would be allowed to run for Mayor in this election.

This was my concluding statement and will direct you to a chronology of the campaign.

I believe it is illegal for Ed Lee to run in this election, having promised not to run in order to be appointed to succeed Gavin Newsom, and because it has given Interim Mayor Lee’s campaign tremendous advantages of pseudo-incumbency. He has gained traction illegally throughout. In fact, despotic interests of the past thirty years have joined together – in fear of Instant Runoff Voting – to ensure the “safe” choice for them, a person they can move easily, will become Mayor.

For Rose Pak and the Chinese community it represents that the first Chinese Mayor, our current Interim Mayor, is never seen in the future as having failed at the job. If anything, this election, with Ed Lee allowed to run, represents a confirmation election. It’s a fake election to confirm that we all like Ed Lee. But it isn’t good democracy. It’s factions finding each other.

Leaving Ed Lee out of your three choices for Mayor is the only real way to ensure an ethical result from the succession process, and ensure a democratic outcome. Please do not include Interim Mayor Lee among your three choices for Mayor.

I am not endorsing any candidate for Mayor because I feel strongly that I am a better choice for Mayor than any of them. My policy ideas (Campaign Promises) are unique, and the best for our City right now. I am truly sorry my name is not on the ballot.

I encourage and welcome the use of write-in to include my name in the final tally.

Thanks to all of you who were so supportive.

In solidarity,

Karthik Rajan

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RePost of some Campaign Promises

I’ve grown to know and love the unique and special character of our city’s quiet pockets – what’s best defies definition, it’s called our spirit.

I pledge to stand with our neighborhoods and communities to retain their culture; to seek out input from communities into which predominantly private external interests attempt to intervene; to create jobs for people already living here, rather than imaginary future employees or residents.

We have plenty of people here who could use our support to create lives for themselves in neighborhood microeconomies. These would be of obvious service to our many residents and those who are soon to arrive.

3. To resist Manhattanization and HongKongification of San Francisco, in favor of saner development

Why does SF have to grow to a city of a million before we address the transit and infrastructural issues?

Why do we have to urgently build more residences for people who do not live here yet when so many who already do live here are suffering homelessness, job loss and an inability to keep up with the cost of living in San Francisco?

Why do we have to build housing for people who do not yet live here before working on cleaning up the Bay, preserving our heritage, adding better, smarter transportation and sustainable energy resources?

Why do we have to appease the nouveau-riche of our times: twenty- and thirty-something-year-olds from elsewhere who want to live and work in our beautiful city for companies that make money for investors who live elsewhere which – thanks to the board and the Twitter Giveaway – will contribute little to our economy?

In reality, we don’t.

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In Conclusion

From November 18th of last year until June 18th, this past summer, I used social media to seek support and votes for Mayor of San Francisco in the upcoming election, to be held November 8, 2011. I walked around town and talked to people as a candidate, opened my first Twitter and FB accounts, and used Youtube for three campaign videos.

I could not afford to continue campaigning and have withdrawn my name from consideration.

By way of explanation to supporters, I’m filing this last blog, a summary account of the seven months I was a candidate. Full disclosure, I planned to use the project of running to get facile with the Twitter environment and use FB in a different way. I’ve changed the Twitter account to @mtkSF and closed the FB account so now ... this blog represents the bulk of the expression of my effort to run for Mayor in 2011.

This could have been called the Twitter election for Mayor, seeing the birth of several long-time candidates’ social media presence, and yet mainstream press avoided much of it, almost as though the clunky baby steps of starting one’s Twitter identity was somehow a revered space for city officials. And all on the heels of giving Twitter a $47 million dollar tax break and release from stock option pressure before it goes public.

I was glad to be able to express as a candidate what many could not as the Twitter Giveaway, Treasure Island Boondoggle and the Park Merced Housing Scheme That Divides were each railroaded through by the Interim Mayor and the over-eager Board President. Rushed, foolish decisions.

The site yields a fair assessment of why my proposal for reform is better than electing any of the others running today – please click the tabs above for my resumé, campaign promises, FAQs and vids.

My deepest thanks to Lloyd Dangle, The Sons of Emperor Norton, CUBA, Jason Rosencrantz, James Earle, Kris Hansen, Stan Gomez and Josh One for their unequivocal endorsements.

History of the Campaign

Last November, after watching the Mayor’s race in Oakland and Jean Quan’s election, I started the exploratory committee for my candidacy for Mayor of San Francisco.

I was significantly motivated by the fact that there is NO INCUMBENT MAYOR of SF today, and by the openness of process that Instant Runoff, or Ranked Choice, Voting created in Oakland.

A handful of friends were encouraging and this blog began December 5th of 2010. By February, it was clear the current disturbing trends in SF are going to continue. The new Board of Supervisors were given initial tests and failed. What I refer to as The Twitter Giveaway was the first of these and revealed much about David Chiu and other candidates for Mayor.

I began reading all of the blogs you see in the Blogroll daily (still do) and commenting as a candidate. I more actively engaged the blogs, the candidates and the media.

The Twitter Giveaway gave me an opportunity to use video and youtube to make a realtime response. We released this the evening of the first vote.

In late April, Officer Greg Suhr was appointed Police Chief – by coincidence he and I had met a few weeks before, just as I began campaigning. I wrote about that meeting and Chief Suhr’s appointment here.

In May, I made my first campaign appearance – at The Peace and Freedom Party’s County Central Committee Meeting.

A brief and depressing conversation with Chapter President Tom Lacey was only one of many indicators that running was pointless. I was, briefly, on The Usual Suspect’s list of candidates and followed on Twitter by City Attorney staff. I doubted I would be taken seriously and the exercise began to decay in quality fast. The recent pseudo-clamor for Ed Lee to Run for Mayor was the final straw.

Ed Lee should not be allowed to run for Mayor in 2011.

please do read the contents of this blog and watch the videos if you can before going to the ballot box or mailing in your absentee ballot. My concerns are city-wide, and about our attitude, our composition, our culture, our very identity as a city in the world.

Thank you all for your support.

Karthik Rajan

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